“Does he ever smile?” was a question posed by a fan seeking an autograph, while a group of reporters and fans alike gathered around a small boxing gym in West Los Angeles for Miguel Cotto’s media work out designed to promote his November 14th showdown with the pound for pond king Manny Pacquiao. As if this much anticipated bout needs any promoting, World Boxing Organization welterweight championship fight is scheduled to take place at the Mecca of boxing, Las Vegas, at the famed MGM Grand Garden Arena and will be televised live by HBO Pay Per View. This event is completely sold out and is expected to be a blockbuster of a fight for Top Rank, a promotional company in charge of the whole affair. Top Rank’s boss, Bob Arum told me:” There are no more tickets!” when I asked him if I could buy a ticket for my wife, who I finally convinced to go to a big fight with me.
Getting back to Miguel Cotto, Puerto Rican superstar does smile on a rear occasion; such was the time when he posed for a photograph with a Hollywood star and an avid boxing fan Mario Lopez after going through a rigorous hour and a half work out. He will smile even more if he manages to conquer Pacquiao, who is believed by most to be the best fighter in the world right now. “I wouldn’t be here unless I thought I could beat him,” said Cotto (34-1, 27 KOs), who looks stoic and somber. Odds makers and most experts believe that Pacquiao‘s speed will be the difference in this fight. “I don’t know how fast Manny Pacquiao is but we’re going to find out,” said Cotto. Freddie Roach, Manny’s trainer and father figure, believes that Pacquiao is fast enough to stop the Puerto Rican slugger. It was reported by Fightnews.com that Roach wagered $1000.00 for Manny to KO Cotto in rounds one, nine and ten. WBO welterweight champion does not seem fazed by this; he is the man who takes pride in his work and according to his cut man Joe Chavez, he has done everything right in the training camp in Florida and is ready for a challenge. “He has fought a lot of tough fighters, but never one like me,” said Cotto about his adversary: “The world will know who the best is when we meet in the ring.”
The only blemish on the record of Miguel Cotto is a knock out loss at the hands of Mexican, Antonio Margarito. Ironically that bout took place last July at the same venue Cotto is take on Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Many believe that loaded gloves aided Margarito to gain the advantage in that fight, but Miguel Cotto refuses to blame anybody or anything but himself.
“He is a very special fighter!” said Todd Duboeff, president of Top Rank about his Puerto Rican star. Twenty nine year old champion from Caugus, Puerto Rico has sold more tickets to Madison Square Garden in this century than any other fighter. Beating Pacquiao on November 14th will put him right where he wants to be and believes he deserves to be, on top of the boxing world.
“This fight will be the most exciting and memorable event that Top Rank has promoted in forty years,” said Hall of Fame Promoter Bob Arum: “ I am certain it will take its place as an exciting and action-packed classic such as Hagler vs. Hearns and Ali vs. Frazier lll. On November 14, Pacquiao vs. Cotto that list of boxing classics.”